How to Celebrate Lughnasadh
Lughnasadh (Loo-nah-sah) or Lammas (its Christianized name) heralds the first harvest, not yet Summer's end in nowaday's calendar (Mabon) but ever closer to Autumn. If we consider the Summer solstice to be the height of Summer (mid-summer), as it was the case in ancient times, Lughnasadh is the beginning of Autumn. It celebrates the first of the crops being harvested and is often related to wheat/corn and berries.
In Wiccan traditions worshipping the God and the Goddess, she is still Mother and the Consort is still the Oak King, both thankful for the gift of the child they’ve been given and the success of their kingdom. The Goddess is resting due to pregnancy, the Consort begins to sacrifice much of his time and energy to seek balance for all they’ve been given; just as we should offer sacrifices to seek balance and be thankful for all we’ve been given as the land sacrifices much to feed us. This theme continues on and plays more of a role in the next 2 sabbath. In Celtic traditions, it is the festival of the god Lug, the Craftsman, this is where the Sabbat takes its name. Now is a time to be thankful for all that you've been given and honor the Sun God and/or the Earth for their hard work. It is the first Sabbat of the waning half of the year, and it is about planning ahead, giving back, preparing, and starting to slip into the night.
Thus, this is a harvest festival and below is a step by step guide to ensure that this important Pagan holiday becomes part of your family tradition year after year.
Bake some bread.In the sources below is a good recipe for making your own bread.Certain smells will bring up happy memories of the year before just like Christmas music does and the smell of a warm loaf is sure to keep the family happy, especially if the children can help you make it. It represents the first loaf of harvest and some use it in ritual whereas some have it as part of their meal.
Plan your meals.A magnificent feast is very important so make sure you plan it well!Pumpkin soup, harvest broth and casserole made with seasonal vegetables such as spring onions and potatoes will be great. Blackberry pie and cream made with fat ripe brambles will be delicious for a dessert. There are plenty of harvest recipes on the net so explore them and discuss them and plan out your menu.
Take time to meditate and pray.Encourage your family members to do so to give thanks for the abundance and generosity of nature, and to immerse in the setting Summer.
- Do this in the garden or somewhere natural and quiet and hope the weather stays fair and bright. Some will use the loaf they have baked to eat after their ritual. It is thanks to nature that they can enjoy this food. You could always have the meal in the late afternoon and go for a picnic for lunch in the warm countryside with all the family.
Go to a local festival.Harvest is a popular time of year for anyone whatever their religion so it's no wonder why many villages and towns have their own celebrations. Try to attend one of these even if they're a bit out of your way. It will get the family into it more to see other people having fun in ways that can only be done in community games.
- Perhaps you could even get work joining in the harvest and truly get into the spirit of it all.
Tell stories about Lughnasadh.If you have young children, think of a story and tell it to them either the night before or on the day itself. It will be easier for them to understand the festival like this. Try singing some songs as well (e.g. The leaves on the tree come falling down, falling down, falling down) which was invented by Tracy Roe.
- Make food that will only be eaten on that time of year like pudding would at wintertime. This will bring back sentimental memories of the family time you spent together. Try to make something different that will be associated with that period.
- If you have older children or a partner who are not Pagan, don't force them into anything. Just welcome them to join in. If you do have young children it's important that you make this holiday a part of your family tradition.
Video: Celebrating Lammas & Lughnasadh. Harvest Season ~The White Witch Parlour
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